New for 2007, the Caliber is a four-door five passenger utility car that replaced the aging Neon. Offered in SE, STX and Sport trim with a 1.8Liter inline four-cylinder that produces 148HP, or the R/T that has a 2.4Liter four-cylinder that boost power to 172HP and is available in both front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, with an optional variable speed automatic available.Read more Read less
Dodge's replacement for the Neon keeps the low price and high mpg rating, but trades in the Neon's familiar design for a more aggressive-looking five-seat, five-door crossover hatchback. The standard 1.8L four-cylinder engine for the base and SXT Calibers, achieves 28 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, which should make the economy-minded happy. A 2.0L engine is a $100 option on these styles, and boosts power by 10 hp to 158. The R/T comes with a 2.4L inline four-cylinder, and is available in front- or all-wheel drive. It also gets flashy exterior treatment, with 18" aluminum wheels, more brightwork, and front fog lights. But what sets the Caliber apart are the gadgets: models with air conditioning have a four-bottle beverage chiller inside the glove box called the Chill Zone, an auxiliary input for digital media, a sliding arm rest, neon rings that illuminate the cup holders, a removable flashlight mounted in the rear headliner of uplevel trims, and an audio system with two of nine speakers mounted in the liftgate, where they can articulate out for tailgate parties.
Economy pricing with personality; lots of gadgets for less money; AWD and CVT availability
The base Caliber costs $13,575, which is $225 cheaper than the last iteration of the Neon. It comes standard with a slew of air bags and a smattering of gadgets. This price point places it squarely in the middle of the entry-level market it's targeting, but with more cool-factor styling and available options than many of its rivals. Buyers who opt for higher horsepower, more speakers, and all-wheel drive can still spend less than $21,000.